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NH Democrats Jackson Jefferson Celebration

Submitted by Matt Murray

Last night I had the privilage of attending the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s  2011 Jefferson Jackson Celebration.  This annual event honors those who have done so much for the Democratic Party, especially over the last year.  For Democrats this has been especially hard year.  The 2010 elections brought in a huge wave of Radical Tea Partiers and Free Staters who have solidified behind their Speaker Bill O’Brien.  In spite of the constant barrage of Anti-Union, Anti-Family, Anti-Women, and Anti-Gay legislation coming from the GOP these faithful Democrats have stood strong.

This year the NHDP handed out many awards including a Grass Roots Activism Award to my personal friend and fellow Union Activist, Lew Henry (USPS). Some of the other award recipients include State Senator Sylvia Larsen, Ambassador Richard Swett,  and the entire Democratic Party Representatives in the State House.  There were many others and I am sorry if I did not mention you personally by name.

After the awards presentations NH Senator Jeanne Shaheen gave a rousing speech about ensuring that we work together to regain control of our State Legislature and send Bill O’Brien back to Massachusetts.  She talked about perserving workers rights and protecting the health of NH women through programs like Planned Parenthood.  She talked about the need to create good jobs, like the ones at the new Berlin Prison, to help get NH back to work.


Gov. Deval Patrick

The celebrations keynote speaker was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  Gov. Patrick is a true leader.  He has shown how by working with Labor Unions in MA. they corrected budget problems and the MA Retirement System.  He has shown by working with State Legislature, Massachusetts can provide affordable health care for all of the Commonwealth.  In MA., over 90% of adults and 99% of children are covered by the State’s Health Care program.  Gov. Patrick jested that a certain GOP Primary Candidate thought that state run health care was great for Massachusetts however it is not good for the other 49 states.  He continued by talking about how MA. is creating new “green” jobs while continuing to invest in public schools.  His education program has made MA one of the “Top Five States” for education.  He also poked a little fun at the NH GOP by saying: “In Massachusetts you can Marry whoever it is you love”.   (On a personal note, Gov Patrick is one of the best speakers I have ever had the privilege of seeing in person.)

All of the speakers and award recipients talked about the importance of the 2012 elections. (paraphrasing) We all must come together to show that the People of this country are more important than Corporations.  We need to get out there and show our support for our President, and take back Congress and the NH Legislature from the Radical Right.

NATCA member Matt Murray, Gov. Deval Patrick,
and NATCA member Patrick Sullivan
Matt Murray and
Former Mayor of Lebanon Karen Liot-Hill

New Hampshire Labor News for 10/27/11, Talks of LGC, Laconia Regional Hospital, Politics and more…

‘Obscene’ cost to fight LGC case sparks new controversy | SeacoastOnline.com: “CONCORD — When a Bureau of Securities Regulations lawyer told the Herald “there’s something obscene about two government-funded agencies involved in litigation, with taxpayers paying both sides,” it led to a closed-door meeting and, reported N.H. Public Radio, an attempt to restrict the speech of state officials.

The “obscene” comment was made by BSR attorney Earle Wingate III to the Herald last Friday when Wingate estimated the Local Government Center will spend $1 million “or better” on lawyers to defend itself against BSR claims alleging it skimmed and mismanaged $100 million of insurance money.

Two days later, both parties met for a hearing when, reported NHPR, “LGC attorney Bill Saturley asked presiding officer Donald Mitchell to restrict lawyers from speaking to reporters.” NHPR reported the non-public discussion was in response to the Herald’s story and that the hearings officer denied Saturley’s request to restrict Wingate’s access to the media.”

Schools will get better says new education chief – East Hampshire – The News: “Mrs Mitchell said: ‘There’s a view that schools in the city are not as good as they should be and we have a responsibility to change that.

‘I believe it is possible. It’s all about high standards, good teaching, good learning and making sure you know where each child is. Secondary schools have a legacy of underachievement but that is changing.

‘Heads and teachers believe, as I do, that every school should be a great school which helps children reach their full potential.’

Mrs Mitchell is under no illusions about the pressures schools are under with budget cuts, tougher Ofsted inspections and a secretary of state who is constantly raising targets.

And while local education authorities nationwide have been pared back to a bare minimum, she sees her department as vital to supporting school improvement – with the power to carry out inspections and even ask the government to intervene.”

Lynch Scolds LRGH | Laconia Daily Sun: “On Tuesday, LRGH announced that a dozen of its primary care offices will no longer provide services to some 3,500 current and new Medicaid patients after the middle of next month. Emergency services will continue to be provided to Medicaid patients at both Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital. Patients enrolled in the New Hampshire Healthy Kids program and those receiving pre-natal care at Caring for Women will continue to be served by their providers. Other patients will be directed to rural and community health centers in the Lakes and Twin Rivers regions.”

Hospital cuts 3,500 patients from rolls | New Hampshire NEWS12: “The Lakes Region’s largest health care company, LRGHealthcare in Laconia, plans to eliminate regular care for its 3,500 Medicaid patients next month.

LRGHealthcare cited the strain that new state budget cuts have placed on its finances as the reason for the decision. LRGHealthcare has a dozen medical practices throughout the region, including offices in Andover, Franklin, Laconia, Meredith, Tilton and Moultonborough.

Gov. John Lynch said the move is “irresponsible and unnecessary,” and out of keeping with the actions of a nonprofit.”

NH court clerk to take food stamp challenge, blog – Boston.com: “A New Hampshire court clerk says she’ll take a food stamp challenge to live on grocery budget of $31.50 a week.

Melissa Laferriere of Manchester decided to take on the challenge put before members of the State Employees Association. She also plans to blog about her dietary exploits on a platform provided by the union.

The $31.50 per week is the national average food stamp benefit for qualifying adults. This averages out to $4.50 per day.”


One person, one vote threat to NH constitution – NashuaTelegraph.com: “In 2006, voters amended the N.H. Constitution to try and ensure more towns and wards get their own state lawmaker. The Republican-led Legislature crafted this amendment in response to the New Hampshire Supreme Court having taken over the process of legislative redistricting in 2002. Court-created districts increased the number of state legislators chosen in large, multiple town districts, such as 13 chosen by voters in Hudson, Litchfield and Pelham.
But Mosca warned the federal principle of one person, one vote trumps the state Constitution and the population disparity between all districts cannot be more than 10 percent.
Once you give large enough towns and wards their own state legislator, you quickly end up with population disparity that far exceeds that standard, he continued.”

Hassan all about jobs, education | SeacoastOnline.com: “”We will be developing more policy proposals as the campaign proceeds, but what we do know is that the best way to attract businesses to a state is to have a work force that is well-educated and ready with the skill sets that businesses need,” she said. “What we need to do is create jobs and to be innovative, both in terms of job creation and in terms of how we run state government and the best way to approach that is to come together with people and find out what they need to create jobs.”

Hassan said, once those needs are identified, the focus then needs to be on generating funds to fill those needs and doing so within the state’s revenue structure. That’s where being innovative in both the public and private sectors comes into play, she said.”

First Read – First Thoughts: Is the economy picking up steam?: ” A day of backtracks: Yesterday’s news from the GOP campaign amounted to a day of backtracks. First, after declining on Tuesday to comment on Ohio’s referendum on its collective-bargaining law, Romney apologized. “I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard,” Romney said at a rally in Fairfax, VA yesterday. “I fully support Gov. Kasich’s, I think it’s called Question 2, in Ohio. Fully support that.” (It’s called Issue 2.) Next, Perry walked back his birther comments yesterday. “I don’t think I was expressing doubts,” he said of his previous comments about the validity of the president’s birth certificate in an interview with Tampa’s Bay News 9 to be aired Sunday, per the St. Petersburg Times. “I was just having some fun with Donald Trump.” Folks, neither candidate has had a very good week. Just read the paragraph again.”

New Hampshire Labor News for Sunday 10/23/11: NH Embarrassing Legislators, Occupy NH,

Embarrassing legislators – what else is new?: “Shades of Martin Harty! Another New Hampshire politician makes the national news – and not for a particularly salutary reason. This is getting to be tiresome.

Connoisseurs of legislative foolishness surely remember Harty, a 91-year-old freshman legislator in the class of ’10. He distinguished himself when he suggested to a caller that the state’s mentally disabled – “defective people” – should be rounded up and shipped to Siberia.

This did not play well in the state or nation, and in short order Rep. Harty became plain citizen Harty from Barrington.”

This is only one quote from the long weekly summary of New Hampshire politics from the Nashua Telegraph.

Congressional candidate fined for late report: “The mortar started firing at week’s end toward Lynch’s latest education finance amendment.
National Education Association-New Hampshire President Rhonda Wesolowski said the current GOP-led Legislature can’t be trusted to be given all the reins over future education finance decisions.
“The current New Hampshire Legislature has demonstrated what we fear future legislatures would do given the provisions of this amendment: namely, shift the costs rightly borne by the state onto local towns and school districts,’’ she said in a statement.
“When this happens, children and taxpayers suffer.”

This is the Union Leaders summary of NH Politics

College board gets schooled in politics: “A busy week is shaping up in the House. Committee votes are planned on the repeal of the gay marriage law, a new voter photo-ID bill and a plan to expand gambling to allow two major casinos.

There’s also a bill saying that restaurant workers can be required to put their tips into a pool that is shared with other service workers.

Former Rep. Rip Holden, who works in the restaurant industry, is fighting the bill, SB 49.

“Somebody works hard to serve customers, and someone else decides what they earn,’’ Holden said. “Even the Soviets realized that didn’t work.”

From the union leader
Thomas Roy

Occupy NH returns to Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester | New Hampshire NEWS06: “For the second consecutive weekend, people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park as part of Occupy New Hampshire, the local version of a movement that started on Wall Street a month ago.

Some participants left the park to briefly picket outside Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s headquarters several blocks away. The group stood outside holding signs while Romney thanked his campaign workers inside.

Shannon Thompson of Canterbury led the group in chanting “Thank you, Mr. Romney” and said the presidential candidate was welcome to “come down to park and participate in true democracy.”

Here is a short video from the OccupyNH.org website as they are gathering in Veterans Park and marched to Mitt Romney’s Campaign Stop.

Wal-Mart slashes health care coverages for over one million workers. Editorial by NH Labor News

New Hampshire Labor News for 10/22/11

Governor Lynch Calls For Education Funding Amendment: “Governor John Lynch surprised top Republican lawmakers today when he released an education funding constitutional amendment.
The amendment would give the state more discretion to target financial aid to schools than it has today.
Critics are concerned about how the governor’s proposal would affect court oversight of education funding.
Governor John Lynch and Republican leaders all want to see the state adopt a constitutional amendment.
Lynch, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President share the belief the state should target money to the neediest communities… even if that means other cities and towns get nothing.
The three men have been meeting to hammer out a deal since December.
The governor says his proposal is the only way he knows to give all children in the state a good education.
“It affirms the state’s responsibility for public education. But at the same time it allows the state to send more money to the communities and children who need it more than others.”

Governor’s proposal on education amendment criticized by House, Senate leaders – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““It is my strongly held belief that the state has a responsibility to ensure that every child in New Hampshire has the opportunity for a quality education,” Lynch said. “But to accomplish that goal, we need an amendment that allows the state to target aid to communities with the greatest needs, and that is what this amendment will do.”
House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, and Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, reacted with surprise, O’Brien with condemnation, after reading the latest wording through a press release.
“It is disappointing we have to read about this for the first time in the press and not hear from the governor himself,” O’Brien said in a statement. “As such, this appears to be more of a publicity stunt than an actual concrete proposal to resolve the education funding problem created by the courts.”

Media-Newswire.com: “MANCHESTER – Governor John Lynch today went to Manchester Community College where he met with several New Hampshire workers enrolled in the WorkReady NH program, a new job skills training program administered through the Community College System. WorkReady NH is the third and final component of New Hampshire Working, Governor Lynch’s innovative jobs initiative.

Governor Lynch saw firsthand how WorkReady NH is addressing gaps in worker readiness in the areas of math, reading and problem solving. It is also addressing so-called “soft skills” such as workplace behaviors, teamwork and communications.

“The stories I heard today were quite compelling. These people were eager to get back in the workplace and WorkReady is helping them by highlighting their strengths and identifying which areas they need to improve upon,” Governor Lynch said. “By earning certification through WorkReady these workers will able to demonstrate to potential employers they have the skills needed in the workplace.”

$1M for LGC lawyers ‘obscene,’ says state official | SeacoastOnline.com: “CONCORD — The Local Government Center will spend $1 million “or better” on lawyers to defend itself against claims alleging it skimmed and mismanaged $100 million of insurance money, predicts Bureau of Securities Regulation attorney Earle Wingate III.

Wingate filed a 4-count complaint against the LGC alleging breaches of corporate law, financial impropriety and his demand that $100 million be returned to funding entities, which include taxpayers, public employees and retirees. The LGC was formed as an insurance pool for cities and towns to achieve favorable rates for employees’ health coverage and property liability claims.

Wingate said his office will seek detailed financial information regarding legal costs for the LGC’s defense.”

Guinta’ propaganda:(Letter to the Editor)
 “Did anyone else receive congressman’s Guinta’s “Special Report” on taxes, energy prices and unemployment in the mail? I, for one, am disturbed that this piece of campaign propaganda was paid for with taxpayer dollars. Our congressman is spreading misinformation and distorting the truth on my dime, and I am not happy about it.
The large four-page color flyer is titled, “What’s affecting your family budget?” I can tell you one thing: Mr. Guinta’s refusal to tax the top 0.5 percent of the wealthiest Americans in order to help balance the budget is a huge problem for you, me, and our children and grandchildren.
Education funding is just one example. Guinta’s flyer boasts of his many visits to local schools to speak with elementary school children. How nice. Under the “Improving Education” section of his flyer, he states that he wants “to see how individual schools, students and teachers are facing the challenges they face.” How many visits will it take for him to realize his visits alone will not improve education for our students?”

New Hampshire Labor News: What Are You Doing Today??: “If you are looking for something to do today here are two ideas. The first is an open town hall with New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien and other state reps. He is asking for real workers to attend and talk about Jobs in New Hampshire. Do not miss this opportunity to meet with the Speaker and ask him why is he attacking the same workers he says he is trying to help.

The Second event today is Occupy NH. They will be hosting another General Assembly at Veterans Park today. The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked many local Occupy events. The people from OccupyNH are looking for a big turnout to show that we are all part of the 99%. If you can, go and show your support for the Occupy movement. Be a part of the social revolution that is sweeping the nation.”

What Are You Doing Today??

If you are looking for something to do today here are two ideas.  The first is an open town hall with New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien and other state reps.  He is asking for real workers to attend and talk about Jobs in New Hampshire.  Do not miss this opportunity to meet with the Speaker and ask him why is he attacking the same workers he says he is trying to help.

The Second event today is Occupy NH.  They will be hosting another General Assembly at Veterans Park today.  The Occupy Wall Street movement has sparked many local Occupy events.  The people from OccupyNH are looking for a big turnout to show that we are all part of the 99%. If you can, go and show your support for the Occupy movement.  Be a part of the social revolution that is sweeping the nation. For more information on Occupy NH click here.

NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien and Rep. Frank Holden, both representing Hillsborough District 4, will be holding a town hall tomorrow in Lyndenborough. According to Rep. Holden:
“We hope that by scheduling the meeting over a weekend it will allow real working people the opportunity to have access to their representatives and to get up to speed and ask questions about what’s going on in Concord.”

Speaker Bill O’Brien Hosts Town Hall to Hear from Workers: “Town Hall featuring NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien, Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker and State Rep. Frank Holden

Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Lyndeborough Center Hall,
1131 Center Road, Lyndeborough

On Saturday, Oct 22nd 12:00 noon, the Occupy New Hampshire movement will rally once again in a massive Assembly, as part of our ongoing protest of military industrialism and corporate greed. We are gathering at Veteran’s Park in Manchester NH, just blocks from City Hall on one of the the busiest parts of Elm Street.

We hope this to be the largest General Assembly yet, so please bring everyone who wants to be heard. Open discussion, a march on local banks, music, and free educational workshops are also planned for the day. Bring a tent, a sleeping bag, your generosity, and your voice.

We have one demand. Join us. Speak with us. You are the 99%.

We are unions, students, teachers, veterans, first responders, families, the unemployed and underemployed. We are all races, sexes, creeds and political ideologies. We are the majority. We are the 99 percent. And we will no longer be silent. We are growing. Block by block – city by city. We will see change in this country, in this world.

Concord Fact Check is Truly Full of LIES!!!

A new website has emerged (www.concordfactcheck.com)  in the last few weeks claiming to be an honest look at the bills that are going through the State Legislature right now.  To quote their website header they are “Setting the record straight on Policy and Politics in Concord”. This week they talked about Right To Work.  The only problem is their facts are all wrong.  I have taken their statements and put them in red and then my response.

What is Right to Work?
 No American should be forced to pay dues to any private organization as a condition of employment. This is especially true when those dues are then used to promote partisan politics that the employee doesn’t support or agree with.

First of all Nobody can be forced to pay Union Dues. It has been illegal since 1939. Right To Work Laws are about breaking unions down. Yes people who are covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement may have to pay a fee.  These fees are only for the costs incurred by the union for representation purposes. These fees are negotiated with the employer and are part of their Collective Bargaining Agreement. Not all Collective Bargaining Agreements contain these clauses, they are only put in if BOTH the Union and employer agree. The fee is then set by an outside auditor for contract administration only. This money in no way goes for political activities. A non-member has no power with the union. They do not vote in elections. They do not get any of the benefits of being members of the union.  They can ask the Department of Labor to audit the union to ensure that the fee they pay is only used for representational purposes.  This is done all the time.

Why are House Republicans so committed to Right to Work?In a word: Jobs. Passing Right to Work will give a major boost to our state’s future income and private-sector job growth. We’ve heard from several companies that Right to Work laws influence where they open for business. For instance, Airline manufacturer Boeing recently opened a plant that will provide 1,000 jobs in Charleston, South Carolina in large part because South Carolina has a right-to-work law.

There is no evidence that Right To Work creates jobs. It is designed to weaken the ability of workers to use their union to negotiate a safe work environment, fair time off, or family wages.  If opposing Right To Work is bad for business and bad for jobs why is New Hampshire’s Unemployment Rate lower than 47 other states? Consider these facts from the Economic Policy Institute, that clearly shows that Right To Work laws do not spur job growth.

Despite ambitious claims by proponents, the evidence is overwhelming that: 

Right-to-work laws have not succeeded in boosting employment growth in the states that have adopted them. The case of Oklahoma – closest in time to the conditions facing those states now considering such legislation – is particularly discouraging regarding the law’s ability to spur job growth. Since the law passed in 2001, manufacturing employment and relocations into the state reversed their climb and began to fall, precisely the opposite of what right-towork advocates promised. 

For those states looking beyond traditional or lowwage manufacturing jobs – whether to higher-tech manufacturing, to “knowledge” sector jobs, or to service industries dependent on consumer spending in the local economy – there is reason to believe that right-to-work laws may actually harm a state’s economic prospects. 

So as you can clearly see Right To Work laws do not spur job growth. Right To Work laws have nothing to do with where people move. Nobody moves from New Hampshire to Florida because they have a Right To Work Law. Time and time again we hear of the job creation in Texas, the truth is that the job creation is a myth as well.

The New Hampshire chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also endorsed overriding the Governor’s veto of Right to Work:
“ found that workers in right to work states experienced a 23% faster increase in per capita income over the 30 years between 1977 and 2007.’   Passing Right to Work will give a major boost to our state’s future income and private-sector job growth.

 This is another false statement.  The truth comes again from the Economic Policy Institute:

Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states, after controlling for a full complement of individual demographic and socioeconomic variables as well as state macroeconomic indicators. Using the average wage in non-RTW states as the base ($22.11), the average full-time, full-year worker in an RTW state makes about $1,500 less annually than a similar worker in a non-RTW state. 

The rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8 percentage points lower in RTW states, using the full complement of control variables in our regression model. If workers in non-RTW states were to receive pensions at this lower rate, 3.8 million fewer workers nationally would have pensions.

Why is Right to Work a priority now more than in past sessions?

Because of the immense amount of special interest money coming from the union shops and bosses to influence legislators, the opportunity to get right to work legislation passed just doesn’t come around often. Luckily, the current legislature, having listened to the voters last November, has a pro-economic growth, pro-business, pro-jobs agenda that they’ve set as priority over the unions’ special interest dollars.

Another False Statement.  In the last 20+ years every bi-annual legislative session Right To Work has been proposed.  This is the first time that Right To Work had to be vetoed by the Governor.  In all other years either the State House or State Senate have determined that Right To Work is wrong for New Hampshire. 

Why has right to work legislation been endorsed by all of the Republican presidential candidates?
One after the other, Republican presidential candidates have urged the New Hampshire legislature to override the Governor’s veto on Right-to-Work.

Due to the fact that New Hampshire hosts the First In The Nation Primary, candidates spend months traveling the state trying to win voters.  They use Right To Work because it is in the news. They try to show that as Presidential Candidates they know what people in Middle America talk about.  Some of these GOP Candidates spoke at the New Hampshire House special session where one of them (Michele Bachman) was caught on camera telling the Speaker Bill O’Brien that she would “twist anybody’s arm”.   For some of the GOP candidates supporting Right to Work in New Hampshire is about getting the support from the New Hampshire House Leadership.  If they can gain the support of House Leaders it could lead to more votes in the primary.

Why are Democrats opposed to Right to Work?
Because their candidates are the primary benefactors of Big Labor’s money.

Right to Work is not a partisan issue. Both Republicans and Democrats and oppose HB 474 because they understand that it will hurt New Hampshire.  Right To Work laws have been proven to reduce wage. The Economic Policy Institute completed a study of the “compensation” argument and they found that Right To Work laws do not only effect Union members but all workers in the state.

Our results apply not just to union members, but to all employees in a state…We measure the particular effects of RTW laws on compensation among workers who are not unionized or covered by union contracts. The wage penalty for nonunionized workers is 3.0%, and the benefit penalty is 2.8 percentage points and 5.3 percentage points for health and pension benefits, respectively. Our results suggest that proposals to advance RTW laws likely come at the expense of workers’ wages and benefits, both within and outside of unions.  

Yes some Labor Union Pac’s send money to Democrats, because Democrats are trying to help preserve jobs and wages, while some Republicans are trying to force them into make less money, less benefits, and in some cases eliminate their jobs completely. Why would they send money to people who want to eliminate their jobs?

One last thing to consider when you are looking for facts about the bills in Concord.  

(ConcordFactCheck.com is ) Paid For By the House Republican Victory PAC – Stephen B. Stepanek, Treasurer

This entire website that is supposed to be an honest look is bought and paid for by the Republican Party Pac.  This website is as fair and balanced as FOX NEWS!

Quotes taken from:

New Hampshire Labor News for 10/20/11…

Veterans Park protesters removed by city police | New Hampshire NEWS06: “MANCHESTER — Members of Occupy New Hampshire on Wednesday night willingly formed a line for police officers as they were issued summons or arrested for refusing to leave Veterans Memorial Park when the park’s 11 p.m. curfew arrived.

Several times, the movement’s members reminded each other that police officers were there simply to do their jobs and told each other to remain calm and stay nonviolent.”

Where are the jobs?: “For 20 years, Somersworth resident Larry Silk worked for the government, assembling, repairing and maintaining submarines. But he lost his job in May 2010 and has been unemployed ever since. Silk has submitted upwards of 70 résumés and applications, all to no avail. He’s getting desperate.
“It’s become quite the juggling act, paying one bill one month, paying another bill another month, getting shutoff notices, having the gas shut off,” Silk told a crowd gathered in Prescott Park. “With a family of five to support and unemployment pretty much drawing to an end, the outlook is pretty bleak.”
Silk was one of several New Hampshire citizens to speak at a rally for good jobs in Portsmouth on Saturday, Oct. 15. Part of the national America Wants to Work movement, the rally was orchestrated by the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and Protect New Hampshire Families. Organizers circulated a petition urging the Legislature to stop making “reckless” budget cuts and focus on job creation.”

PSU adjunct professors file for union election | Laconia Daily Sun: “PLYMOUTH — Adjunct professors at Plymouth State University (PSU) announced on Tuesday they have filed for an election at the Public Employees Labor Relations Board, which is the first step in forming a collective bargaining unit. The question on the ballot is whether the faculty is for or against organizing and becoming a part of a union — The State Employees Association (SEA).

If the majority of adjunct faculty members are in favor of organizing into a union, they will be able to negotiate with the administration as a unified body, rather than on an individual basis. Approximately 250 adjunct faculty members fall within this category and represent the majority of the teaching staff at the university.”

Conservative group head to step down – NashuaTelegraph.com: “CONCORD – Conservative activist Kevin Smith is stepping down as head of Cornerstone Action NH to seriously explore a 2012 Republican run for governor and other opportunities.
Smith, 34, of Litchfield, said during an interview that he was preparing to leave after three years as head of the special interest group, regardless of whether he ultimately seeks to replace Gov. John Lynch. Lynch, a Democrat, will not seek re-election this year.”

NH Dept. of Corrections rebuts suit by officer | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has been taken to court by its corrections union president, over what he describes as unfair treatment that kept him out of work and without benefits for more than a year.

Mark Jordan, 43, of Manchester, who is chapter president of New England Police Benevolent Association Local 250, representing more than 300 unionized prison workers across New Hampshire, claims in a suit that the corrections department dismissed him on trumped-up charges and has not yet adequately compensated him.”

Jobs Act ‘Party’ Stokes Local Democrats – Salem, NH Patch: “”It isn’t nearly enough,” Simas said. “There’s more that we need to do and the American Job Act is the President once again saying, ‘Here’s what we need to do.'”

According to the campaign, the bill includes $50 billion for infrastructure, $35 billion for keeping teachers, cops and firefighters in their jobs, $25 billion for school infrastructure, $15 billion to rebuild homes and $5 billion to modernize community colleges.

Simas said the bill would not add to the deficit because “we ask wealthiest Americans to do their fair share in getting the economy going again.”

In New Hampshire, a GOP-Led Assault on the State Judiciary

An great write up on the craziness that went on by the Bullies in Concord and HR 13 in the New Hampshire House.  If you did not know HR 13 is the GOP pushed legislation that is trying to force the New Hampshire out of President Obama’s Health Care Plan. The State Supreme Court has already stated that what the House is trying to do is unconstitutional.  Now those same bullies in the State Legislature are trying to take away any power the State Supreme Court has in an attempt to overrule them.

In New Hampshire, a GOP-Led Assault on the State Judiciary – Andrew Cohen – Politics – The Atlantic: “Bill Raftery, at the National Center for State Courts, has done an excellent job at his “Gavel to Gavel” site of keeping track of the anti-judicial movement in the Granite State. He’s written, for example, about the House’s efforts to pass a law that would strip the judicial branch of its jurisdiction to review cases involving school funding in the state. There have been at least 10 such measures proposed in the past few years, Raftery reports. Ten.

For now, anyway, the last word goes to state Rep. Christopher Serlin, a Democrat from Portsmouth, who unsuccessfully urged the House not to waste its time attacking the authority and good faith of the other two branches with the passage of H.R. 13. “Nothing that we do here today,” he told the chamber Wednesday before hundreds of his colleagues ignored him, “is going to affect the citizens of New Hampshire…”

News Coverage from yesterdays NH House Session

Yesterday was a fast paced day for news and we tried to keep up. We responded with a post on Michele Bachmann’s boo’s from the crowd and her whispers to Speaker O’Brien the she would twist any arms. Read all about it here

Republican presidential hopefuls address NH House | New Hampshire NEWS0605: “CONCORD — Five Republican presidential candidates sparked applause, but two prompted loud booing, as they addressed the New Hampshire House of Representatives Wednesday.

Union members anxious about right-to-work legislation reacted when Michelle Bachmann and Newt Gingrich called on the House to adopt the bill that Gov. John Lynch vetoed this year.

When Bachmann exhorted Republican House members to override the right-to-work veto, it set off a loud protest in the House gallery. Republicans on the House floor cheered just as loudly, setting off a contest each time she raised the issue.”

Cain’s Moment in the Sun Shines at New Hampshire Legislature – Rodney Hawkins – NationalJournal.com: “GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain enjoyed the fallout from his strong debate performance on Tuesday niht, getting a warm reception for his economic plan from New Hampshire legislators on Wednesday during a visit to the Statehouse.
At a traditional candidates’ forum hosted by the Legislature in the first-primary state, Cain said that he was actually glad his economic plan was slammed by his Republican rivals at the Republican candidates’ debate at Dartmouth College. “It attracted a lot of attention at the debates last night,” he said.  “You know you must be doing something right when you get a lot of arrows in your back.”

Debate raises Cain | Concord Monitor: “State lawmakers also heard from former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. Speaker Bill O’Brien had invited each of the Republican candidates, along with President Obama, to address the chamber.

Gingrich received applause – and a few jeers – when he offered his support to right-to-work legislation, which was vetoed by Gov. John Lynch and awaits an override vote in the House. Bachmann also urged the House to adopt the policy, which prevents unions from charging fees to non-members.”

‘Good jobs’ rally planned for Prescott Park | Seacoastonline.com: “Organizers of the New Hampshire Wants to Work rally say the event will allow participants to call for bold proposals from state legislators and Congress to reverse alarming increases in underemployment and low-wage jobs during the past year.

Speakers at the event include small business owners Jack Bingman and Nancy Beach as well as workers from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

“This recession has left a lasting impact on many New Hampshire residents,” Beach, owner of Atlantic Media. “More families are living in poverty than a year ago — and the jobs that are being created to replace those lost will not lift New Hampshire families back into the middle class. Our elected leaders need to embrace urgent action to support New Hampshire’s small business owners and put citizens back to work.”

For full details on this see our previous post on the NEW HAMPSHIRE WANTS TO WORK Rally!

N.H. House approves budget fix with a catch – The Boston Globe: “The budget fix, which would save the state $8 million a year, is hung up on House speaker William O’Brien’s insistence on tinkering with the bill.

The law change cuts welfare benefits to people who also get federal Supplemental Security Income Program checks. The SSI program helps low-income disabled adults and children, as well as low-income residents 65 and older who are not disabled.”

New Hampshire and The Nation need the American Jobs Act, Take action NOW!

New Hampshire Bridges Need Work; New Hampshirites Do, Too:

“In New Hampshire, 372 bridges are deficient—and more than 2.1 million vehicles cross those bridges every day. Meanwhile, 5.3 percent of New Hampshirites are jobless.
With so many New Hampshirites out of work, so many bridges and other pieces of critical infrastructure in need of work—and so much to do to keep America competitive in the 21st century—the solution is simple: Pass legislation that lets New Hampshirites get to work on critical infrastructure projects.
Tell your members of Congress: New Hampshirites are ready to get to work, starting with investing in our bridges, transit, rail, airports, highways, schools and the rest of our failing infrastructure.”

Take a moment to email your legislator and tell them to Pass the American Jobs Act.

Also taking a stand for the American Jobs Act is the National Educators Association.  They have launched a new ad campaign (video below) to help inform people of the effects of passing this bill will mean for teachers and school systems.

(From Education Votes website) The American Jobs Act would inject billions of dollars into the public education system, including;

  • Providing employment for up to 280,000 public school teachers laid off due to state budget shortfalls & cuts
  • Providing for repair and replacement of 35,000 crumbling public schools

Click here to email your member of congress and tell them to support the President’s American Jobs Act.

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